Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Writing-Induced Depression? {WriterlyWednesday}

I never thought it was possible.

Non-writers won't have any idea about that which I speak of - and I'm confident even some writerly folks won't understand. Honestly, it is a bit mysterious and daunting to me myself.

Writing-induced depression. Is that already an official term? If not, I'm coining it. WID.
My friends, WID is real.

I experienced it at its full potential this last Monday.

See, I've been working in earnest on The Rebels lately due to the fact that my self-set deadline is fast approaching with the end of the year.

And, I happen to be in the midst of the most depressing part of the book.
Have you ever attempted writing a full-fledged Civil War battle scene?
If you haven't, don't bother trying to sympathize wit me. The only way for you to understand this sentiment would be to go through the experience yourself.

The trauma. The feels. The pain.

This chapter has torn my inner workings to pieces. I put myself in a literal depression all because of it.
"A cave of depression", to quote an awesome writing friend of mine.

The numbness was stifling.
As I poured my soul into the gore and sadness on the document before me, tears forced their way from my eyes.

My eyes sting even as I think of it. My poor characters. Damascus Hayden, the red-headed Rebel man who's distanced himself so far from his Creator.
All I wanted to do when writing that scene was climb into bed and sleep.
Wake up to a fresh start, the painful emotions wiped clean away.
Getting away from the book did a world of good.

I accompanied Mom to Micanopy to drop off and collect library books, (always fun, since it's the library of course!) and then we took a serendipitous stop at Mosswood, a delightfully charming little locally run shop across the street from the library. It's one of my favorites, and has been for ages.
The sound of vintage 30's music drifts the place, organic, handmade and locally grown products fill the store's shelves. Books on how to do things yourself - how to bake bread, how to bee keep, you name it.
The building itself is an old house, renovated into a cozy store. Wood is everywhere - wood floors, beautiful wood counters, walls, ahhh it's lovely. I love wood furnishings.
The best thing is that this place supplies heirloom seeds - something we value greatly for our gardens.
Upon purchasing a good quantity for this year's winter crops, we made the spontaneous decision to also buy mochas. Mmmm! So warm and deliciously rich and yummy.
We sat out on the porch for a good solid hour, just Mom and I. *happy sigh* I will treasure that afternoon. It was a special mother-daughter bonding time. So terribly thankful for my parents!
So that helped with the dark moment of WID I was having. It helped greatly. Mom is such a good listener, I wish I was more like her.
What Was I Saying? INTJ so me
I'm melodramatic. Insane, obsessive, completely random and sporadic.
Entirely too emotional. But you know what? Somehow, my family puts up with all that.
Somehow my friends do. Somehow, God does. And that is most comforting of all.
His grace has never left me dry and wanting. I may act like an idiot, fall down and botch things up, but I can always run back to Him. He is my Rock, my Sword, my Shield.
He never leaves me.
Anyhoo. WID is real, bottom line. It's rough and it leaves scars. In short? Watch out, fellow writerly peoples. If you find yourself sitting at your computer, staring in angst at your novel with tears threatening to spill from your eyes, be careful. If you heart feels numb and emotionless, yet heavy and sore, tread with caution. If, even hours after you stopped writing, your entire demeanor hasn't changed one lick - yipes.
You might find yourself carried away -  lost in a severe case of writing induced depression.
Tread carefully for it's a hazard zone not to be taken lightly.


  1. I believe it. I can scare or sadden myself if I start imagining too hard. And I can totally see how writing a battle scene especially with someone far from God, would be really really tough. I know you said don't sympathize, but I'm doing it anyway. Hehe, rebel :)

  2. I'm going to sympathize with you because a few months ago I had a full out civil war battle in my historical romance novel. *sobs* my poor characters, and all the blood, pain, and ack I'm going to put myself into WID just thinking about it.

  3. Oh dear. That sounds terrible! Here's a hug...*hugs*

    And by the way, this might interest you. Don't know if you've heard of it or not.

  4. And you can drag others into depression, too. Especially when you give them little emotional exerpts and don't tell them what happens for HOURS.

  5. Heh heh. I've dealt with this before, but I've moved on. I like being emotionally involved because it means the readers probably will. :)

    Stori Tori's Blog